Country: United States
Region: Loudoun County, Virginia
Binny’s Price: unavailable
Distiller’s Suggested Price $45
Acquired: The author bought his own at Enoteca in NYC
Barrel/lot sampled: BISA4J
When I travel, I like to try brands I don’t often see at home, so I was more than happy to listen to Brian at Enoteca (http://www.winedisciplesenoteca.com) who suggested I try the Roundstone Rye from Catoctin Creek out of Virginia. While I am glad I tried it, I can’t say I agree with other reviewers about the quality. Those reviewers must like really peaty Scotches and dirty river water. To each his own, but I didn’t care for it neat and I liked it less in a Manhattan. To say I didn’t like it doesn’t capture the visceral reaction I had when I tasted it and I’m sure I must have looked like one of those toddlers trying lemons for the first time. Obviously, it wasn’t my ideal flavor profile.
I was so hopeful when I first picked up this medium amber, almost dark rye. Then I smelled it and got my first hint that this was a very different spirit. My first reaction was that it had a very strong, almost peaty nose which was super strong in rye. I could understand that since it’s 100% rye mash. Yet, it seemed to lack depth in it’s other flavors and I just couldn’t get past the rye smell.
A sip brought no tongue burn. Again, this makes sense given it’s only 80 proof. What little initial flavor there was quite rye forward and brought a strong, dry finish that turned sour after a bit. It’s lack of depth is consistent with a 100% rye aged for less then two years in Minnesota white oak barrels.
I think it is too young and too sour which is too bad. You -really- have to like rye to like this whiskey, so perhaps rye lovers will put up the $45, but I don’t see myself ordering this the next time I’m at Enoteca.
UPDATE: When I first tried Roundstone and wrote this review, I hadn’t yet learned much about rye. Now that I’ve tried many more and learned to enjoy them, I decided to re-visit Roundstone with an open mind and more-experienced tongue. My second review is short and simple: I was being generous in the first review.
There will not be a third review.
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